About the Author
Chad Swiatecki is a 20-year journalist who relocated to Austin from his home state of Michigan in 2008. He most enjoys covering the intersection of arts, business and local/state politics. He has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Daily News, Texas Monthly, Austin American-Statesman and many other regional and national outlets.
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Residents living in the city’s renovated Seaholm District at the former power plant are very calmly escalating their fight against loud “rail squeal” noises caused by Union Pacific Railroad trains that run and take a slight curve on tracks adjacent to the development. The website CalmInAustin.org is a continuation of sorts of a Change.org petition drive that pushed for the city to intervene and try to provide some solution for the noise – estimated to approach 100 decibels – caused by the friction of trains moving along a curvature in the tracks. The site is acting as a resource center of sorts for the residents and businesses affected by the noise levels, with a new petition drive and a call to eliminate the rail squeal in the Seaholm District. In April, City Council passed a resolution calling for the city manager to work with the railroad to explore additional steps to mitigate the train noise, with an expectation of a report back to Council by Aug. 1.
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